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Traffic circles can help cut down on roadway deaths

Drivers and traffic engineers in New York and across the United States share a concern about how to make traffic intersections safer. The junction points for two or more roads can be some of the most dangerous areas for drivers and passengers, as cars come toward one another and intersect, often at high rates of speed, risking accidents that can lead to serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Because intersections are such a frequent site for car accidents, engineers are looking at how to improve safety at such locations.

One method that can help to cut down on deaths and serious injuries on the road is the construction of roundabouts or traffic circles. In a study of 144 urban and rural roundabouts with significant traffic volume, the Minnesota Department of Transportation found that constructing roundabouts in place of traditional perpendicular intersections had a significant impact on bodily injuries. Auto accidents involving fatalities were down by 86 percent at these intersections after the construction of roundabouts. The results weren't limited to cutting down on deaths, as serious injury crashes were cut by 83 percent and all injury crashes were down by 61 percent at single-lane roundabouts.

Engineers estimated that the elimination of T-bone accidents was a major factor in the reduction in deaths and bodily injuries at the roundabouts. These accidents happen when the front end of one car crashes squarely into the side of the other vehicle; they are some of the most risky types of car accidents due to the potential of severe injury for the inhabitants of both vehicles.

While traffic engineers are looking to cut down on car crashes, roadway design improvements can't stop drunk driving, texting while driving and other negligent practices. People who have been injured in an accident caused by another motorist might want to meet with a personal injury lawyer to find out more about how they can pursue compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses.

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